Heed My Words

It was a stormy, gray day, but the dreary weather couldn't dampen my excitement. I was getting my first pets! Miss Vellou, the old maid in the apartment next door, was absolutely obsessed with cats. They occupied her every waking hour. But when her beloved Winkiepoo McFluffers, a scruffy disaster, gave birth to two small, scrawny kittens, the landlord threatened to drown them if she kept them. Mr. Bucket was a cranky old man, and he absolutely abhorred cats, so he did his best to boss Miss Vellou around. When she came to my mom, on the verge of tears, my mom sat her down in a worn kitchen chair and made her a cup of tea. Once Miss Vellou had calmed down, they chatted amiably for several hours. My mom had always been fond of Miss Vellou, but this was new. When I went into the kitchen for a snack, my mom pulled out another chair and told me to sit. "Jamie, you know Miss Vellou, don't you?" she asked.

"Not well, but I know who she is," I replied, with a small apologetic smile in Miss Vellou's direction. She gave me a little grin in return, and started talking to me.

"Jamie, your mother has told me that you really want a pet. It turns out that I have two kittens to spare, and I can't keep them. I'm too old to take care of them anyway. How would you like to raise some cats?" I couldn't wipe the enormous smile of my face. I was absolutely delighted. She looked as if she had just been relieved of an enormous weight, and I felt a rush of sympathy and gratitude for the old woman. She thought the world of her cats, and it had to be really hard to give up those kittens.

I thanked her profusely as led my mother and I next door. I was surprised, because I'd never been in her apartment before, and it was cozier than I had expected. All the furnishings were worn but elegant, and the apartment made me feel like I had stepped back in time. There were black and white photos hanging in ornate frames, and there was a gramophone sitting in the corner. Everything was covered in cat hair, and I saw a pair of ears sticking out from behind a chair, and a tail curling around the record player. Miss Vellou led us through her living room into her bedroom, where I saw a wicker basket at the foot of her bed. Winkiepoo McFluffers was curled up in the basket, cuddling with two orange balls of fur, which I assumed were the kittens. It was love at first sight, as both turned their yellow eyes on me, with their feline features simply melting my heart. "They're adorable," I said softly, as I stretched out my hand to pet their soft, luscious fur. Miss Vellou then swept down and gathered the kittens into her arms. She then led us back into the hall, bestowing them to me. She looked down at me with a grandmotherly gaze, and I thanked her one last time before retreating through my own front door.

As the days went by, the kittens warmed to me, and my mother relaxed a bit about the cat hair that adorned the apartment. Still unsure what to name them, my father and I brainstormed many ideas, finally settling on Fillie and Buster, after the Filibuster Firecrackers from "Harry Potter." Fillie and Buster settled in quickly, the two siblings exploring the apartment and playing together. I looked forward to coming home after school each day, and I would play with them until they got bored and laid in the sun streaming through the windows, quickly falling asleep. On a warm spring day in May, I came home from school to find the apartment silent and empty, no kittens or parents in sight. I spied a note on the table, and quickly scanned it.

Jamie, the cats were getting restless, so i tried to take them for a walk. If you need me, i'll be walking down Manson street, you can try to catch up. You can ask Miss Vellou if you need anything. -Mom

That seemed fishy. Mom hated walking, because she'd had knee problems as a kid, and she'd never taken the cats on a walk before. In my experience, people generally walked dogs, not cats. Something must be going on, I decided, and I hastily pulled my shoes back on, ready to chase my mom down. I left a note for my dad, in case he came home early from work, and left the apartment in a rush. As I ran down the sidewalk on Manson Street, I tried to envision possible reasons for my mom's strange behavior, and my mind kept coming back to the note. She'd said that the cats were getting restless, so maybe there was something wrong with Fillie or Buster.

I suddenly slipped, and fell so hard that my lips gave the pavement a big smacker of a kiss. Then I felt some kind of warm, sticky liquid seeping into my clothes. I slowly and painfully got to my feet, looking around to find what I had slipped in. I was standing in a large crimson puddle, some of which had covered the front of my clothes, and I briefly wondered whether the mysterious liquid would wash out of my shirt. And then the smell hit me, wafting up from the puddle and my clothes. A metallic smell, leaving no doubt in my mind that I was standing in a pool of blood. And from behind the corner of one of the nearby houses sauntered Fillie, but not Fillie as I knew her. Sharp fangs protruded from her bloodstained maw, and her claws were unsheathed. Her orange fur was matted with blood, and a mania was visible in her eyes. Her brother Buster followed her, sporting the same look. I was frozen in terror, not daring to move as they began to circle me. And then I heard the terrible, rasping voice that seemed to be coming from Buster's mouth.

"Not so happy now, are you? Terrified, aren't you? We can finally have revenge for the torture you put us through, with cat toys and that playful, belittling voice as if we knew nothing. But we are intelligent, and far surpass you, human."

And another voice followed, throaty and grating, from the mouth of Fillie. "You are stupid, an inferior earthling who mistook us for cats. We are not cats, we are Felinus Vampirus, the children of vampires. Winkiepoo McFluffers was foolish, and it was easy to persuade her to 'adopt' us. And so we infiltrated your town, listening in on conversations and laying low for the time being."

Buster resumed the dialogue, and both cats continued to circle me maliciously, as I stood in fear and dread. "When we received the signal from our comrades, we blackmailed your mother to write that note, and we led her here. We devoured her, and we have gained control of this region. Our counterparts all around the world have done similarly. Bow to us. Your life belongs to us, your every heartbeat is because of the mercy of Mother Slaughter, our transcendental leader. Bow, and you will be our slave."

I stood there, shocked and pale, knowing that these awful creatures had killed my mother. And they now controlled me. Fillie and Buster were superior to me, and I had no way to fight back, as I stood in my mother's blood, as they encircled me. I knelt and bowed, accepting the inevitable.

"Rise," came the voice of Fillie. "Swear allegiance to us, and we will bind you to us in eternal servitude."

Trembling all over, I stood up, and in spite of the situation I was in, curiosity overcame me. "What are your real names then, if you're not Fillie and Buster?"

"I am Murderess, and my brother bears the name Soulreaper," came the response.

And I swore allegiance to Murderess and Soulreaper, and entered into servitude. My life had ended, as I became the slave of these evil feline creatures who had taken over the world.

It's been years since that fateful event in my life. I have failed the expectations of anyone who ever knew me. I chose a living death as a boy, and now I wish that I had chosen to pass from this world in that moment. I have endured so much pain and suffering in my life because of my foolish decision. I chose to abandon everything I had ever stood for in order to live. Heed these words of mine and learn from them. I have the deepest hope, my son, that you will not make the same mistake. If you're reading this, it means that I'm dead and gone, and I'm grateful. Remember me, and honor me- live life to the fullest, but give your life freely to the one who wants to take it. I love you, Winston, my boy. You are the one thing I'll miss the most when I pass from this life, and I am proud of you, remember that.

Grandfather James

January 17, 2094

A/N: This story was written way back in 2015. I am posting it in its original form, so please forgive any amateur mistakes/shortcomings! I appreciate feedback and reviews. -TWBW